We're excited to launch our third major update to the SQRL app. It includes the introduction of gratitude journaling, an updated dashboard – including a set of daily milestones that encourage you to stay physically active and the ability to filter your dashboard.
How we got here
On November 21st, 2018 after 6 months of prototyping, testing, building and learning we launched the first app that allowed you to connect the steps you take each day to a savings habit. The idea was to set aside $1 for every 1,000 steps you take.
In less than a year we've covered over 4 million steps and $40,000 savings set aside for over 500 customers (all organic growth) – have helped us learn a lot about you and how to make the experience better.
Start each morning by journaling what you're grateful for and pick the emoji that expresses how it makes you feel. Near the end of the day capture one thing you accomplished and how it makes you feel. As you journal, review your progress day over day, week over week and month over month to see how much energy you gained or lost and why.
For the last two years, I've been practicing my gratitude and overtime it's had a profound impact on me. It's helped me cope with the stresses of a first time founder and get in control of my emotions and mindset. We distilled down the core essence of the daily 5 minute journal into something you can do within seconds each day.
If you're like me, you're great at obsessing over what isn't right or going well or what you have to fix. Journaling has helped me take a more balanced approach to acknowledge what is going well and to give myself credit for all the progress I've made – progress that can only be seen if you write it down.
Personalized for you
We are all unique and we each have a different focus. That's why we've introduced the ability for you to filter the combination of steps, savings, and mood so you can see what's most important for you in the dashboard each day.
A new look
With the introduction of the third dimension of well-being - mindfulness, we reimagined the dashboard with a modular approach to show the features of past versions with the additions of the new.
You can review your current week from the dashboard. Paid users can go back and review daily, weekly and monthly recaps at any point. (Free users get to see reviews one time at the beginning of each day, week and month.) The recap view allows you to seamlessly navigate between activity savings and mood through daily, weekly and monthly views.
So I think of myself as a pretty normal guy, living a pretty sedentary lifestyle in the usual office environment you find at a tech company. It's not that I don't enjoy exercise, outdoors or moving around – it's that everything else ends up taking a priority - work, kids, house stuff etc. The average American (how I see myself) averages 3,000 steps a day – that's about 1.5 miles. Not a whole lot – but hey don't judge me 'k?
One of the fundamentals of goal setting is to create achievable, measurable milestones that build up to your ultimate goal. That's why we created three easy to understand milestones for physical activity. First match yesterday's steps – the dotted counter and the number on the bottom left of the steps tile indicates the steps you took yesterday. The counter on the bottom right of the steps tile will count down the steps remaining to match yesterday's steps. Once you match yesterday's steps, the next milestone is to walk 500 more steps. Why 500? So let's say if we all started at the average of 3,000 steps/day and added 500 steps more each day – you'd be walking 10k steps each day within 14 consecutive days! Finally the last milestone is to hit 10k steps. Each of these milestones are reflected in your daily recap of physical activity – so you can try to build a streak of hitting your milestones each day.
Link bank accounts
When we initially launched, we allowed you to connect your bank accounts with your username and password. We recognized this approach left behind some customers with credit unions that were not supported. Thanks to our friends at Plaid, we now support all U.S. banks and credit unions!
You can now search for your institution and if it doesn't show up, authenticate the account via micro-deposits. This is a secure and stable way to connect your accounts through Plaid. *Note - it may take a day for you to receive the micro-deposits in your account to verify the account.
Like always, the funds are moved from your own checking account into your savings account at the end of each week. This way the funds always stay within your own financial ecosystem and are available for withdrawal through your bank's experience when you need them.
Our core values
I'd like to share with you are some core values that went into building SQRL that remain true today as they did when we first started.
- 🚫No subscriptions - We want to SQRL to be a tool that is within reach for our customers. That's why we will build features with in-app purchases so you can choose to determine the value that's best for you.
- 🤖No ads - The experience we are building is much too valuable for everyone to be diluted with ads that create noise which would detract value from the experience we want you to have.
- 💡We don't proprietorize your health data - SQRL integrates with the Apple Health app or Google Fit to read your steps, distance and calories burned. We only ask for what's necessary to show you as part of the experience. Most importantly, your health data is yours and is accessible to download through the APIs we connect with at any point.
- 💓You are whole and complete, as you are - We've all felt the judgement and shame from our Apple watch or other fitness tracking experiences. We think you're great as you are - no matter how much or little you do. Our messaging is built to encourage, recognize, and reward your progress so you can incrementally build on where you're at to achieve your goals.
- 💪🏽A bias towards action - We all lead busy lives and as a consequence we put our own well-being last. Lasting change happens incrementally, overtime and seldom in a straight line. That's why SQRL was built to tap into your life as it is, and help you make the change you want to see one step at a time (literally).
We hope you the app experience as much as I enjoyed making them and if you have any questions, feedback or gratitude to share, don't be shy and reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate you!
P.S. If you enjoyed this article and want to hear more about our company vision and progress, check out this podcast I recorded 👇
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